Australian airlines may have breached legal obligations by offering travel voucher schemes that disadvantage customers, said Slater and Gordon.
The law firm is considering launching actions on behalf of tens of thousands of Australians who it said are being “short-changed” by airlines, travel agents and tour companies.
Slaters believes major travel providers have potentially breached their legal obligations by putting in place travel voucher schemes that significantly disadvantage their customers.
According to Slaters practice group leader Andrew Paull, affected customers may be able to participate in a class action against their travel providers.
The firm has spoken with holidaymakers, he said, who “have been left thousands of dollars out of pocket and holding vouchers that they may never be able to use”, while others, he continued, feel they were forced to cancel ahead of airline announcements to get back a portion of their fares, only to be hit with hefty cancellation fees.
“We understand that everyone is doing it tough at present, including the major airlines and travel companies, but that doesn’t give them an excuse to take advantage of their customers. Nor is it acceptable for Qantas shareholders to treat the money it owes to ordinary Australians like its own,” Paull said.
Story by Jerome Doraisamy